Regional Council has approved the 2017 budgets for water, wastewater and waste management. The budgets for all three service areas next year are lower than Council’s established budget guidance that sets a budget cap increase of 1 per cent.
The 2017 budget for water and wastewater increased by 0.8 per cent or $871,000. The Region acts as a wholesaler of water and wastewater services to Niagara’s cities and towns, who then ultimately recover their costs directly from residents and businesses through their water bills.
The net operating budget for waste management, which pays for the collection and processing of garbage, recycling and organics for residents and businesses, is set at $34.9 million next year. This represents a 1.2 per cent reduction from 2016, a savings of more than $410,000.
The $52 million gross budget for waste management of is offset by $17 million in non-property tax funding sources such as revenues from selling recycled materials, tipping fees and industry funding.
Regional Council will consider the capital and operating budgets for approval on Dec. 8, 2016.
"The budgets approved by Regional council last night represent a balance between our commitment to provide Niagara residents with high quality programs and services, while helping to protect affordability. I look forward to to ensuring this balance can be achieved in all of our service areas in our 2017 budget."
~ Alan Caslin, Regional Chair
"The water and waste water budget increase of 0.8% is one that both respects ratepayers while ensuring continued access to clean, safe drinking water for Niagara families. Further, the realization of over $400,000 in savings within the waste management budget reflects our will and ability to do business differently while increasing diversion away from landfills. I’d like to thank Council and staff for their efforts throughout this process. "
~ David Barrick, Regional Councillor and Budget Review Committee of the Whole Chair
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